:-o (still not patented)

From The Register: Cingular, the United States’ largest mobile phone network this week applied to patent emoticons, better known as smileys. The application refers to selecting emoticons on mobile phones or handheld devices over a wireless, and makes 35 claims...

Who will save us from the record labels? Maybe a record label.

But it isn’t what you think.Nettwerk, the great Canadian label that represents Sarah McLachlan, Avril Lavigne and the Barenaked Ladies, has taken sides in the Recording Industry Association of America’s war on users….  “The current actions of the RIAA are not in my artists’ best interests.”Nettwerk is paying the family’s legal bills, and has announced it will cover any fines the court ultimately levies.This is classy.

Schism in the open-source world: GPL vs. DRM

It’s been brewing for a while, but a fissure in the world of open-source software may be about to widen dramatically.At issue: digital rights management (DRM), the technology that allows copyright holders to restrict how you use the media they publish.On the line: the latest version of the General Public License (GPL), the legal framework that establishes the ground rules for developing, using and distributing open-source software…. The man behind Linux, Linus Torvalds, wants to leave options open for open-source developers to introduce DRM to their software.The positions in a nutshell, as reported by ZDNet:The foundation believes that free software–that is, software that can be freely studied, copied, modified, reused, redistributed and shared by its users–is the only ethically satisfactory form of software development, as free and open scientific research is the only ethically satisfactory context for the conduct of mathematics, physics or biology.